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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 July 2007, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
Dragons coach hails historic win
Catalans players celebrate
Catalans players celebrate their surprise win over Wigan
Catalans coach Mick Potter says his team's Challenge Cup win over Wigan is a big boost for French rugby league.

"Even though we haven't had a top season, this has given us a boost of confidence but also a little bit of credibility in French sport," he said.

"It's fantastic for the players themselves to experience the new Wembley. It's going to be phenomenal."

The Dragons won 37-24 to become the first French team in the event's 110-year history to reach the final.

"Wigan came up with some uncharacteristic errors," added Potter. "We maybe pressed the issue and forced a couple.

I would have blamed myself had we lost but at the end of day it doesn't matter now

Stacey Jones

"We expected it to be very tight in the first half so to get away with that start was fantastic for our players."

Wigan closed the gap to just seven points towards the end of the game following the sin-binning of Catalans star Stacey Jones for delaying a Wigan drop-out.

But the veteran New Zealander returned to help set up the match-clinching try from Jason Croker.

"The sin-binning was pretty tough," said Jones. "I've never been in that position before and I don't know if it warranted a sin-binning or not. I don't really know the rules.


"Wigan scored two tries while we were one man short and they put a lot of pressure on our team. Players were cramping up and had to do extra work. It was pretty tough watching that.

"I would have blamed myself had we lost but at the end of day it doesn't matter now."

Jones added that the prospect of facing St Helens at Wembley on 25 August was "a dream come true".

"It's fantastic," he said. "St Helens said how excited they were to be in the final, we're the same."

The game was going so quickly we didn't have time to think about the butterflies but they were there

Alex Chan

"The guys have realised they have done something special and it is another level now.

"They've got St Helens. They are a world-class team and it's going to be special for everyone there."

Man-of-the-match Alex Chan admitted to some late nerves, but said there was barely time for the players to worry.

"The game was going so quickly we didn't have time to think about the butterflies but they were there," he said.

"I played at Wembley for the junior Kiwis against Great Britain once, in 1993. I hope there'll be a few more people there this time."

Catalans Dragons 37-24 Wigan
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Catalans v Wigan as it happened
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Bradford 14-35 St Helens
28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
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28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
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28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League


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